On Sunday morning, President Trump predictably returned to Twitter to continue bashing former Vice-President Joe Biden, this time claiming that the Biden family was “paid off” and accused the media of “making excuses” for his “inexcusable” behavior.
Who paid off the Biden’s for what isn’t quite clear, but Trump knows that if he continues to hammer Biden with accusations of corruption, they’re gonna stick.
….And by the way, I would LOVE running against 1% Joe Biden – I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Sleepy Joe won’t get to the starting gate, & based on all of the money he & his family probably “extorted,” Joe should hang it up. I wouldn’t want him dealing with China & U!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2019
Joe Biden’s son Hunter is at the center of a legal but ethically dubious influence-peddling incident in which Hunter earned $50,000 a month for sitting on the board of a Ukranian natural gas company while his father touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” and served as the Obama administration’s “point man” on US-Ukranian relations.
Trump is accused of having withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid from Ukraine in order to try to bully them into giving him dirt on the Bidens, which the Ukrainians could not do because it does not exist. The picture that President is referring to actually shows Joe Biden golfing with his son and his business partner Devon Archer, an American who also was on the board of the natural gas company with Biden.
While there is no evidence anything illegal happened, the entire affair shows how the conflicts of interest that arise from the intersection of business and political power leaves Democratic candidates vulnerable to this kind of right-wing smearing, just as Hillary Clinton was. It’s not a good look for our leaders to have their kids receive cushy board seat jobs that pay huge sums of money because of who their parents are, especially in a nation where so many people are struggling to make ends meet.
It is deeply cynical, wildly inappropriate and possibly illegal for the President to have abused our international relationships in order to drum up a scandal to hurt a potential election opponent and it is imperative that Democrats in Congress take swift and decisive action to punish him for his behavior — but we also need to ask ourselves why so many of our Democratic establishment politicians keep having to deal with these kinds of uncomfortable and ethically questionable incidents surrounding their families, private companies, and charitable foundations.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.